Sudbury’s home campaign off to a winning start
Sudbury 184-8 beat Elmstead Grasshoppers 182 by two wickets
Sudbury did not produce a great performance in their first home match, but still did enough to carry off the full 20 points against Elmstead.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field first on a pitch which had been undercover due to overnight and early morning rain.
James Poulson made the most of the early assistance as he tore into the Elmstead top order and, aided by some aggressive bowling at the other end by Billy Moulton-Day, reduced Elmstead to 35-5.
Dan White then single-handedly hauled Elmstead back from the brink.
His excellent innings of 131 runs from 128 balls consisted of 19 fours and four sixes, and with the help of some indifferent fielding from the home side, allowed Elmstead to reach 182 before they were eventually all out.
Poulson finished with excellent figures of 4-22 and was assisted by Darren Batch (2-23), Moulton-Day (2-53), Nathan Poole (1-22) and Tom Huggins (1-34), who all chipped in with a wicket
Sudbury’s response started well, with Huggins striking a couple of fours and a six, before Poole was bowled attempting a sweep. Huggins was then lured into a drive and edged behind for 33.
Adam Mansfield was joined by Poulson and the pair seemed in little trouble, reaching 113-2.
Poulson, misjudging the length from spinner Ian Evans, was bowled for 30.
Elmstead then turned to Aiden O’Brien to provide some short pitched bowling in an attempt to unsettle Sudbury’s batsmen, and it worked.
Mansfield was out one ball after completing his half century, caught at fine leg from a miscued hook shot.
James O’Brien provided brief resistance before he was snaffled at slip and he was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Kenny Moulton-Day and Matt Griffith.
When skipper Batch edged to slip for 18 the game appeared to have been thrown away.
But some courageous batting from Ben Hyett and Ben Reece, the latter carrying an injury, saw the home side reach their target without further loss to maintain their early lead at the top of the league.
Saturday sees Sudbury visit last year’s runners-up Coggeshall (1pm), who will be looking to emulate last year’s double over the Talbots.
n Sudbury II suffered a heavy 83-run defeat at Dunmow in a lacklustre display.
In a re-jigged team Sudbury skipper Steve Witham, having won the toss, was left frustrated as five catchable chances went down before one of the Dunmow openers was eventually held at slip by Witham himself.
Andy Simmons took 5-48 from 12 overs, as the hosts finished on 211-9 with Sudbury frustratingly just missing out on full bowling points.
Johnny Gallagher hit 35 and Al Younger 29 in a steady partnership for 85-2 before a spectacular collapse including three golden ducks in the next eight wickets, and finished on 128.
They will have to be much improved when they host Easton at Friars Street on Saturday (1pm).